which diagnostic tool to buy?

family has a couple new nissans plus a few 3 or 4 year old american cars
primarily for the nissans but also for the US models, I wanted to buy a good
diagnostic tool and have come across these
http://www.automotiveservicetools.com/shopequipment/products/otc/otc-3774-nemisys.html
http://www.nemisysotc.com /
it looks like a laptop is needed to save the data but the tool itself can be used with or without laptop, no problem as I have several laptops which would work for this purpose
any suggestions welcome
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zeke wrote:

http://www.automotiveservicetools.com/shopequipment/products/otc/otc-3774-nemisys.html

Sounds like a lot of bucks for a tool that will be seldom used, unless you are in the automotive repair business. Why not a cheaper OBD II? There are many brands that will work and are cheaper. Equus sells one for $170 that can be connected to a PC to generate reports.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

well, the thinking was that while I admittedly am not in the repair business, I am from time-to-time asked to do simple jobs like replacing faulty sensors, shocks, breaks and have even replaced an original A/C compressor for a family car
none of this of course qualifies me as a mechanic but perhaps an above average do-it-yourself and I thought the tool would add credence to the ability to drive to the dealer shop with a simple printed report in hand:
1. Me: Good morning. I am here because of this diagnostic report 2. Dealer: Ok. What seems to be the trouble? 3. Me: According to this report, the manifold pressure is off.....
so the thinking was that since all the family cars are under warranty, why not have the best possible diagnostic data available and be able to speak directly to the issue
plus it would be kind of cool to hookup the live monitoring data while driving and watch the data right there and offload it after a long trip to the laptop for analysis

like this one for $149 http://www.levineautoparts.com/eqobdiicodre.html ? or another model?
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You can buy a better one, the Equus Innova 3110 for $169, http://stores.ebay.com/Race-Parts-Direct
zeke wrote:

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zeke wrote:

No, the 3110 here, for example. http://www.toolsource.com/ost/product.asp?sourceid=googleobd2&dept%5FidP0&pf%5Fid •767&mscssid¶4RCUH81G8Q9JSLV8MXM30H0F500439
If that link is too long, here's a shorter link http://tinyurl.com/zue6e
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Any code reader not only adds credence to your stated problem, but it keeps honest people honest. Not necessary at my regular shop, but it's nice should I have to go to the dealer.

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Look at this one, useful if your cars are 96 and newer, any brand, any model:
http://auterraweb.com/scantools.html
It offers ODB_II, CAN, VPW, PWM, ISO, KWP2000 compatibility, free upgrades, dyno, real time sensor readings, etc. etc. It reads both generic (common to all vehicles) or brand specific codes.
It can run from a Palm PDA or a windows computer.
If you have a Palm PDA I recommend the serial version but then you need a serial port in your computer. The serial version is the A-301.
If you only care about the PC version, then the A-302 USB version would be best.
You can buy the product directly from auterra for $269 or buy it for $210 by bidding on ebay, $10 prices including shipping.
No, i do not benefit in any way or form by mentioning this product.
zeke wrote:

http://www.automotiveservicetools.com/shopequipment/products/otc/otc-3774-nemisys.html

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I've been learning to use a borrowed Nemisys the last couple days. It's a lot better than the Actron CP9145 I bought on eBay for $160. For one thing, it can show the parameters graphically. You can select which ones you want to watch, set them for graphical display, and move them to the top of the list, giving an easy way to compare, for example, system voltage relative to engine speed. In addition to real-time display while driving, you can hit the record button when a symptom occurs, causing capture of a period before and after the event. The most recent 5 such snapshots are saved in the scanner. You can then either review them on the scanner after pulling over tot he curb, or go home and roll them up to you computer via an rs232 cable.
Although I have yet to learn how to do it, you are supposed to be able to actually set engine parameters with the scanner. For example, you can move the EGR pentil around, or force the TCC in and out of lockup. Again, I still have not figured out how to do all this, but if it really works that puts this device miles ahead of the cheaper unit. Very easy to use too.
Not affiliated, etc.
Ed

http://www.automotiveservicetools.com/shopequipment/products/otc/otc-3774-nemisys.html
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Ed wrote:

that's interesting to read
did you access this link and read the online manuals? http://www.nemisysotc.com/ (link at bottom right side)
they have both the quick-start guide as well as the actual 100-pg (or close) detail user manual
you can of course save the acrobat document to your local drive and print it
have you actually used it for a vehicle diagnosis and been able to get a specific issue resolved? what was it?
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Zeke,

The borrowed unit came with a CD that has the manual and the PC-based software for uploading and scanning the saved test data.

To your three questions, Yes, no, and don't know!
The problem I have is a very challenging one, having stumped both my GM dealer and a long used and trusted independent shop. I call it Herky Jerky, GM calls it chuggle. Briefly, while driving along the freeway it will suddenly sort of shudder, as if you had quickly changed gears or tapped the brake or something. Apparently, something either in the engine or the drive train causes the TCC to engage/disengage.
So, yes, I've used the NemiSys to get some scans and uploaded them to my PC. But as you might guess the difficult part is interpreting the data. I look at things like the TCC mode and slip, RPM, vehicle speed, system voltage and try to see what is going on at the event. Can't say that I've done it yet though. So, I don't yet know what to fix. Before getting my hands on this really good scanner, other scanners have been used by me, the dealer, and the independent, and we have replaced a lot of stuff, all without fixing the problem.
I will have to say that I really can't advise someone to buy one of these neat but expensive tools on the hop it will zoom in on the problem. If error codes are set even a cheap scanner will give you some guidance. If no codes are set, as is my case, all the data may not put you any closer to solving the problem.
Ed
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Had you changed the transmission filter before all this started happening?? Had a vehicle where a person had pried the old filter out damaging the metal lines that run above it. Just a thought...
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